First youth girls comp another step towards women's league
A NEW junior Aussie rules season is a major step towards the establishment of a local women's league.
The new female-only competition is directed at those turning 13-year-old to 16-years-old.
The Fraser Coast Youth Girls AFL will see four teams - Hervey Bay Blues, Fraser Coast Kings, Urangans Suns and Maryborough Bears (pictured) - play games in both towns each week.
The games are played as nine-a-side, with fixtures at Maryborough's Port City Park and NE Mclean Oval each Friday night.
AFL Queensland's Dean Backwell said 24 girls participated in last week's practice game, and he hoped more players would join in the inaugural season.
"This is the first time we've tried this format," he said. "We've had school competitions in the past but this is the first time we've taken it out of that.
"It is still a trial but we're keen to get it on track."
He said a fifth team could join, which would extend the current nine-week season to 13 weeks.
The goal is to build interest in junior age groups, play full Fraser Coast seasons by next year then, hopefully, a future competition that includes teams from Bundaberg.
"There is enough interest in our area but Bundaberg's players are a bit younger," Backwell said.
The youth competition is free to play. Most games start at 7.30pm with two double headers (June 23 in Hervey Bay and July 28 in Maryborough) to start at 6pm and 7pm.